The past, present and future of Oil & Oil Companies

What do you people think about the possibility? Will the prediction be right or are the oil companies playing a gamble?

saikarthik recently shared this with other BHPians.

We all know that due to climate change, pollution and health hazard, fossil fuels are being replaced or at least started to.

Came across this video which explains in short the beginning, present status and the possible future of oil as a product.

What do you people think about the possibility? Will the prediction be right or are the oil companies playing a gamble? If right, then why oil companies are diversifying rapidly instead of slow diversification?

Please post good stats and links to documentaries if available.

Here’s what BHPain V.Narayan had to say on the matter:

Love the subject. Anything to do with the environment and sustainability grabs my attention not for my own sake but for the sake of my children and one day their children who are likely to live long enough to see a lot of both the good and bad unfold. The glacier catastrophe in Uttarakhand being but one more reminder of the spreading perils of climate change.

So coming to oil. I cannot predict short term versus medium term demand – the variables are too many. But in the long term starting 10 years from now and going out to 40 years oil demand will decline and will eventually become one more important mineral needed for petro-chemicals & plastics rather than primarily for energy. The demand from automobiles & two-wheelers and trains will go out first. The demand from ships will go down next if wind and solar power can be effectively harnessed. The demand from aircraft will largely stay for the forseeable future unless battery energy density can be improved about 50X to 100X. Natural gas powered powerplants will continue for longer for load balancing the grid and fill in the gaps of solar & wind power (& tidal power?). Along with oil at some point coal will be pushed away too. But that can happen only when wind, tidal & solar get really large. The technology is improving at a very significant pace in all three including using brine as a storage of energy to feed the grid at night/low wind periods. Detractors and cynics are advised to read up on these before penning the usual cliched laments.

The geo-political change the oil demand decline will stir up will be equally dramatic. If you don’t need to pander to the Middle East to get your petro-chemicals will you care what they do so long as it doesn’t reach your shores? Or will the unemployed youth of the Middle East become a source of world wide trouble more than they already are. What will happen as the autocratic monarchies wobble and collapse. Will the Middle East become an even bigger hotbed for global terrorism than it is now? All this will unfold in parallel. And there are other nations whose economies are dependent on oil – Russia, Venezuela, Indonesia, Brunei and Norway. But for oil, the USSR might have unfolded a decade earlier. But for oil, Indonesia may break up into several independent countries. But for oil, Brunei will become a small tourist country.

Mankind’s relationship with mother Earth and consumption of energy underwent a fundamental change between c.1850 and today. Another round of change is now coming, and has been simmering for a while, where we shift gears to being more earth-friendly. For the whole world of transportation and power generation, a new era is on us. It won’t be easy, it won’t be linear but it needs to happen if our grand children are to inherit a healthy planet.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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